As much as we hate the inevitable tears, we just can’t stop eating onions. They add an entire dimension to any dish that you cook and, of course, they taste so damn good.
Ever wonder why chopping an onion makes you cry like a baby whether you’re wearing glasses or not? You can squeeze your eyes shut all you want (not that we recommend you do that while holding a knife). You can turn away from the onion. You can even run away from the cutting board, but, no matter what you do to try escaping that all-too-familiar burning sensation, the tears will come.
Here’s the science: a raw onion releases gas as soon as its cells are damaged by your knife. This gas then combines with the onion’s enzymes to produce sulphuric gas: the very gas responsible for your discomfort. And when that gas reaches your face, it will immediately start irritating your eyes, which gets the tear ducts up and running.
Good luck rubbing those tears away, because odds are you probably have some of that lovely onion on your hand. You know from experience that the first sting in your eye only gets worse until you’ve cried that gas out.
Chopping an onion can also be a bit humiliating. Especially when someone walks in mid-chop while your tears are falling down your face like rain. Instead of explaining why you’re not actually crying — well, you technically are — there’s a way to outsmart that onion.
Before cutting up your onion, all you need to do is pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. The onion’s enzymes (the ones that are responsible for basically setting your eyes on fire) break apart when heated up, reducing the amount of gas that’s released later. You can then chop your onion and keep up your face completely tear-free.
Never shed a tear over an onion, a perfectly good onion, ever again. They don’t deserve your sympathy.